Top 3 Consumer Behaviors that Should Affect your Online Marketing Plan
Running a business nowadays is more exciting because consumers are not just passive about the kind of service they get. Instead, their active and outspoken behavior through comments and reviews about your business (no matter how big or small scaled it may be) matters to other people and should matter to you as the business owner too.
With an active consumer-audience, everything you post, say and do on your online business pages greatly reflect your attitude and image as a brand or company. And since the Internet is like a vast space of wasteland with a huge population, people’s reactions or feedback about your business will surely vary greatly and the way you handle these feedback matters to the public and to your business. That’s why it is important to have an online marketing plan on hand to have a precise direction
So here are five consumer behaviors to take note of and some tips on how to handle them efficiently.
1.) Great Expectations
No pressure, but most consumers nowadays has very high expectations especially that they can easily find and switch companies whenever they find a certain company bad. So it’s kind of hard to retain customers because thanks to the Internet, people can search for other companies that they find much better in terms of product and service.
Handling this situation is like going back to the basics of marketing but is still very applicable for an online marketing plan like:
- Make sure your product/service is up to your quality standards. This is always the basic principle in every business. No good marketing strategy or PR can ever cover-up a bad product.
- Deliver the promise. Of course, if you say you’ll deliver the product in 2 days time, then make sure you could. Any delivery later than that will frustrate your customers and may be grounds for them to switch companies.
- Have employees in charge of customer services. If you have given an email address for queries or a phone number for that matter, make sure you have someone ready on your line to answer it. Consumers won’t have much patience with unanswered emails or calls because technology made communication faster and they expect it to be so. If they find that no one is there on the other end to assist them with their queries, this may be cause for them to look for another company that can provide them with what they need.
Technology had made our world so fast-paced that every hour or minute matters for consumers. To let your business survive today, you must adapt and provide products or services the fastest way possible, but still with quality of course.
2.) The Outspoken ones
Social Media integration is crucial in every online marketing plan. Without this, your business’ online presence is definitely incomplete. Yet the thing is, it is not enough to make a social media account for your business, you must also update it regularly and assign someone to check and reply to posts and moderate everything.
People can stay anonymous or unreachable online that’s why a lot of people can say whatever they like about anything online. And it is inevitable that some previous customers of yours will be explicit about their feedback about you—and yes, it might hurt but don’t let it sink onto your nerves cause you might end up catastrophically.
So how do you deal with a customer feedback? Basically, most business owners ignore them and let them be but it’s a bit different when it comes to social sites like Facebook wherein anyone can comment or reply to someone they agree or don’t agree with. Never let negative feedback pile up on your wall or comment boxes without any explanation or answer on your side so better check your social pages from time to time.
Here are some common not so positive feedback a business could get:
- Service is slow/bad.
- Employees are not accommodating.
- I did not get my items on time (late delivery).
- I paid more than what was promised me.
- The product is not as good as I’ve expected.
Problems regarding product quality should be taken note of especially if many customers have already said the same thing. It’s a way for you to figure out how you can improve your products better. With regards to bad employees and slow or bad services feedback, ask the customer which branch (if you have other branches) and which time of the day were they in. That way, you can trace and fix the problem with the right personnel.
It is best to take negative feedback positively. If possible, thank the customer for sending in his or her comments and apologize for whatever inconvenience your business might have caused and promise something as a compensation like this:
“Thank you sir/ma’am for the feedback and we apologize for the inconvenience. Rest assured that we will look into the problem and take appropriate steps as soon as possible. In the meantime, we are willing to give a refund if you can present a proof of transaction. Thank you so much!”
And here are the things you should avoid whenever you reply to a negative feedback:
- Refrain from using inappropriate words.
- Don’t and never insult your customers. This will only attract a lot more people into the conversation and ta-da, you’ll go viral (in a negative way) which is unhealthy for your business.
- Don’t make promises of compensations if you cannot do it.
You don’t have to actually go through every negative feedback just to answer everyone’s needs. As usual, you can never please everybody. Just take note of the most common complaints and as much as possible, take responsibility of pressing issues (like a customer wanting a refund or exchange).
3.) Smart and resourceful shoppers
Consumers are so tech-savvy nowadays and as a result, they can browse through different products and prices just to find the best bargain they can have. Moreover, customer reviews, social media forums and blogs can greatly affect consumer decision. This is probably the most difficult to handle because we cannot control on where consumers choose to go to find reviews and information about products and brands. However, this is not an excuse to not participate in these realms. If you can provide an official website for your business, then it’s good but it is not enough. You need other pages like social sites and blogs to redirect other people into your own site since it’s what most people look for first.
In other words, you have to also make use of Content Marketing or Inbound Marketing as part of your online marketing plan to be able to provide information to your target market whenever they need it. Even though your business can thrive with good customer reviews and recommendations, consumers nowadays will still look for some information that comes straight from the horse’s mouth.